Meet the Amigos

Trip Start Jul 16, 2010
Trip End Jul 31, 2010

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Monday, July 12, 2010

Let me introduce the guys making this trip with me.

Terry Walker was the first to commit and dream about this trip every bit as much as me. I met Terry on my most favorite road in America--the Cherohala Parkway that spans from Tellico Plains, TN to Robbinsville, NC. I'm sure I will see more beautiful scenery and vistas in the coming weeks but the Cherohala is in my back yard and I go there frequently to restore my soul. 

I met Terry in May, 2009 at one of the little "watering holes" at the end of the Cherohala in North Carolina. We were admiring each other's bikes but I didn't know him from Adam.  We both were talking about what and where we wanted to go some day and I just popped the question, "Why don't you go to Alaska with me?"..."When ya going?"...."Next year probably in June or July"..."I'll do it."  "By the way, what do ya do when you're not riding?"...."Own a motorcycle shop in Naples.  I customize bikes"..."Man, you're a godsend. My wife's been praying for you and she doesn't even know your name."  That was it.  Terry hasn't wavered a minute.  We've prepared every mile together.  Neither of us are rich men so this trip has significantly altered spending priorities for both of us.  I couldn't pick a better partner if I tried. 

Terry and I were cautious about adding folks once we knew we were going to make the trip no matter what.  You know the saying, 'two's good company and three’s a crowd’.  None of us are like the typical Harley Davidson herd riders who ride in big groups.  If you’ve ever been for a ride with me in my truck you know how much I hate following someone else. There’s something about having fresh wind in your face. 
And everybody knows that most accidents not caused by careless cage drivers (slang for cars, trucks, and especially mini-vans) are cause by riding in a group too close, too fast, or too distracted.  Finding the right riding partners is much like finding the right running partner--someone who shares the same pace and riding techniques.  If you can find one good riding partner, you’re doing well.  Trying to multiply the odds can be tricky.  It’s with that type of reservation that Terry and I went came into this past spring as we turned the pages on the calendar leading to now.

Then we meet...Alan Kelley.  I met Alan at a local BMW gathering and soon learned I was probably the only person in the whole state of Tennessee that had never met him before.  You couldn't meet a nicer, more likable, more flexible, more fun-loving guy in your life.  Alan has been riding motorcycles for most of his life and has plenty of stories already in the memory bank but this is his first gigantic trip along with Terry and me.

Alan has already brought a new level of excitement and humor to the trip.  I swear, he can sell ice to Alaskan Eskimos and he was able to talk his way into the reservation books of every lodge and campground we had committed to months ago.  He up-graded a brand new F800 for the big 1200 BMW like mine and there is no one who enjoys riding as much as Alan.

And then there is Pete Buenting from Duluth, MN.  How in the world did the ultimate Mid-Westerner get plugged into this crew?  Pete is the Customer Service Manager for the great motorcycle outfitting company called Aerostich.  I met Pete when I flew to Duluth last December to be fitted for what many consider to be the finest motorcycling suit made.  Of course fitting me into any suit almost requires an act of God and Pete couldn’t have been nicer through the process.  Pete has motorcycled to Alaska about 4 times and he’s drawn to it possibly more than we three rookies.  I call him "Peter the Great" because there’s no doubt he’s bound to save our lives on any number of miscalculations just because he’s been there and done it before.  It’s obvious he’s a seasoned traveler and has definitely earned the title as an “iron-butt” rider.  From the stories he tells and distances he’s traveled, it sounds like he can ride in his sleep.  He will be leaving this coming Thursday and riding his bike from Duluth to Prince George, BC to join us on Saturday.

That’s it for now…don’t want to bore you before things start rolling but had to let you know a little about the guys sharing the adventure.

Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Jackie Stanton on

As a big fan of the "Big Guy' John Queen, I am delighted to be able to follow the trip's events.
Love the introductions to the crew!
Safe and satisfying riding to you all. I look forward to all your posts!
Jackie Stanton

javagold on

Jim, the only thing that could make this trip any better than it already is would be for you to be going along. Those who have traveled Alaska say its much like Lay's Potato can't go just once. Maybe on my return trip in a couple of years we can go together. Looking forward to scouting out the place for you.

javagold on

Jackie, thanks for the support. This will be a lot of fun and I hope you'll enjoy the vicarious ride through the great Northwest in the following days.

Patrick Murphy on

Trip of a lifetime.......Enjoy and be safe!

All the best!

Sue on

Can you believe it is finally here??? Chattanooga will be cheering for you - better than that, praying for joy inexpressable!

Jane Gorder-Halladay on

I'm a forever friend of Pete's and he truly is "Peter the Great". Love him like a brother. Can't wait to hear more about this adventure and wish all of you a safe and rewarding trip. As Pete would say, "Peace Out". Please give him a "hello" from me.

PaPaw on

Looking forward to your updates on this great trip. My only regret is that I am not along for what should be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! God Speed !!

Raj Beekie on

Do have a splendid trip.

EB Stewart on

Will there be a movie? Quartro Amigos!! God's speed boys!

SenseiJack on

wishing you all the best. Enjoy every mile. You may have had to save your pennys but you can't but memories like this one. I'll be praying for your safe and FUN ride.

Terry & Syl Walker on

Good Luck. Have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Mary Walker on

For everyone who reads this blog, please keep these boys in your prayers, pray that they have a great trip and return safely home...I happen to love one of them:)

TriumphTiger on


Silvia Rodriquez-Collier County Tax Collector on

Terry, I am sorry, I wanted to give this to you before you left...but here it is.
Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills...where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip...He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Terry will never slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you...the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun willnot harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you form all harm...He will watch over your life;The Lord will watch over your comingand going both now and forevermore. AMEN...
Have a wonderful and safe trip!!!!

Mary Walker on

Hey John, I am sorry to inform you, but...I am not a member of the Lonely Wives Club. I am thou, the president of the "Party Like A Rockstar" club will the husband is a way, and if any of the wives would like to be members...there are plenty of openings and membership is free!!! Just joking!!! You make sure you take care of my husband, he's the only one I got and I'd like to keep him!!! Have fun guys and do everything I would do and I mean it!!!!!

Martha Queen on

Here here Mary! I'm off to the beach in a cage and happy about it. You boys have a grand time. Sounds like a good first day. I hardly think you needed a jet to get you to Seattle. I think you could have floated there!!!

Praying for mercy for you guys - that this is the best two weeks ever (that you have spent away from us :-)

May the Lord bless you and keep you
And make His face shine on you
And be gracious to you
The Lord lift up His countenance on you
And give you peace.

Godspeed on your first Canadian day!

Joyce Bean on

I know that you will be surprised hearing from me. See...........I am keeping
up wilth you and I hope this trip is all you expect to be.

Joyce Bean on

Correction-I hope this trip is all you expected it to be.
Safe riding,

Pierre Coqueran on

I see that you guys are having a great time. Enjoy yourself Terry. See you when you get back

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: